"President Abraham Lincoln," E. C. Middleton, 1864

A Divisive Figure

Lincoln generated enthusiastic support and bitter opposition throughout his presidency but particularly around election time. The flattering oval portrait is in sharp contrast to a biting cartoon that depicts his opponent, George B. McClellan, dressed as Hamlet and holding the head of Lincoln (Yorick) while speaking to Horatio Seymour, New York governor and prominent Peace Democrat. The cartoon references false reports that Lincoln made jokes while touring the Antietam battlefield.